NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II
August 20, 2016
Barclays Center – Brooklyn, NY

Watch: WWE Network

Meet our previewers:

Ember Moon vs. Billie Kay

Alex Wendland: I preferred this when it was “Ember Moon vs. TBA,” as TBA has probably won more competitive matches in NXT, but Moon will have a nice showcase here and have the televised debut of what will quickly become everyone’s favorite finishing move in NXT. The smart move after this is to maintain Asuka as the unbeatable Empress of NXT while Moon is built in sort of a parallel universe in which the two never cross paths. The inevitable confrontation between the two will be spectacular, arguably better than anything the Horsewomen gave us over the past few years. Prediction: Ember Moon

Jeff Hawkins: Personally I was hoping TBA was “Tessa Blanchard Appearance.” Billie Kay, you’re lovely, but you’re going to die. Looking forward to the influx of new talent for the women and hopefully it leads to a deeper main roster and perhaps someone who knows how to write for them. Prediction: Ember Moon

Rob McCarron: Ember Moon’s debut is huge here. She’s now the first female to get the big “First appearance in NXT at Takeover” slot. Kevin Owens, Andrade Almas, Samoa Joe and others have done so before. Asuka was the closest female to get such a debut, although she appeared in person on TV before her debut at Takeover. It’s a big deal. It shows the audience that you’re worth a spot on Takeover sight unseen. We should pay attention. The people will be, as Ember will be a big star in the rebuilding period of the NXT women’s division. Prediction: Ember Moon 

No Way Jose vs. Austin Aries

Alex Wendland: This seems like it should be another Baron Corbin Experience. Corbin had Austin Aries beat, but the wily veteran willed his way into the victory. The difference, of course, is that No Way Jose isn’t on his way out of NXT. A win over Aries could cement this new, not-quite-so-ridiculous Jose as a legitimate player in this new NXT era. An Aries loss, even to Jose, isn’t going to hurt his standing either. Prediction: No Way Jose

Jeff Hawkins: Throw out what you know about who *should* win and look at it from the point of view of “in whom is the company invested in elevating.” Austin Aries is clearly a talent, but is he being built for something? I tend to think not, but neither outcome would be surprising. Prediction: No Way Jose

Rob McCarron: Austin Aries is has been shown to be an important star on NXT TV. The announcers promote him as a big deal, his debut was a big deal, and he beat the outgoing Baron Corbin at a big show. Now, that build up of Aries allows No Way Jose the opportunity to come off as an even bigger deal when he defeats Aries. Prediction: No Way Jose

NXT Tag Team Championship
The Revival © vs. Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa

Alex Wendland: The Revival is spectacular, and I’ve written at length about how much I love their schtick. Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa are perfect candidates to beat The Revival and send them to a main roster, but I think those two are meant for different things in the immediacy. NXT needs top-level talent to replace what they lost in the draft (and Mojo Rawley). Keeping Gargano and Ciampa cooped up in one match on the card isn’t the wisest use of time and we saw what they could do against each other in their incredible CWC match a couple of weeks ago. Either The Revival wins via nefarious means or Ciampa is turning on Gargano to break the team up and cross-promote the remainder of the CWC. Prediction: The Revival

Jeff Hawkins: I think this may steal the show. The Revival continue to play to my wheelhouse of old school ‘rasslin tag team that grinds out a win. Ciampa and Gargano are up for a great match here, methinks. I think there’s going to be a couple of programs to get losses on guys to build to a chase here, and this is no different. The beginning of great matches to come, hopefully. I think it’s too soon to give to a face team in anticipation of the Authors of Pain getting a run, so I’m picking Dash and Dawson. Prediction: The Revival

Andrade Almas vs. Bobby Roode

Alex Wendland: Especially with Aries losing in my fantasy-booked card, I think Bobby Roode is going to get a hard fought win in a disappointing match. Andrade Almas isn’t working in this presentation; he’s like a low-rent, higher workrate version of No Way Jose right now. Put some adversity in front of Almas and let him evolve into something more down to Earth. Prediction: Bobby Roode

Jeff Hawkins: The great theme song vs. Dave Meltzer’s seething rage over the lost opportunity of La Sombra. I could see them going back to the drawing board on Almas and giving Roode a win. But again, this is a scenario where you have a relatively unexposed babyface that would be getting a big win on a Takeover and a heel that needs establishing. I’m going to go with the babyface. Prediction: Andrade Almas

Rob McCarron: Ah yes, the big debuting star gets the win in his first match. Welp… maybe not. I don’t think we’re going to see the brash, cocky, big free agent with the ego to match the contract get a win. Instead, Andrade will knock Roode down a peg, forcing Roode to re-focus. Or, just get angry at his embarrassment. Either way, Andrade vs Roode continues on with Almas securing the first victory. Prediction: Andrade Almas

NXT Women’s Championship
Asuka © vs. Bayley

Alex Wendland: I think Bayley’s gone from NXT after Friday night. Her sorta-debut at Battleground was a tremendous success and she’s the final Horsewoman in NXT. Asuka will reign supreme until Ember Moon is built to a believable level before making her own NXT exit. Prediction: Asuka

Jeff Hawkins: To me, once again, Bayley is in the best built feud on either major card for SummerSlam weekend. The nuances of Bayley becoming more self-assured while simultaneously Asuka grows more heelish as her dominance is asserted is fun to watch. Brooklyn is where Bayley got her coronation, it’s where she regains the throne, even if only for a short term run before heading to the main roster, but that’s not guaranteed. But sometimes ‘tis reign in Hell than serve in Heaven. Prediction: (It’s) Bayley

NXT Championship
Samoa Joe © vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

Alex Wendland: Samoa Joe is the best champion in the company and it isn’t close. A win over Shinsuke Nakamura would solidify his position as the baddest dude around. Nak, for his part, needs to take a loss before announcers start talking about him being undefeated. The win streak never works well because the rub from ending it always goes to someone who doesn’t need it – it’s just the nature of the beast. Joe nefariously retaining means you end Nak’s undefeated run and make Joe a better heel champion. Additionally, WWE can then either move Nak up (already long overdue) or set up a rematch. Personally, I don’t think Nak should become the NXT Champion at any point, a lengthy reign would be a distraction from what he needs to be. Prediction: Samoa Joe

Jeff Hawkins: Samoa Joe is the most credible champion this company has. He’s mean, he’s violent, he took the mantle of champion seriously and in story, has asserted his will as champion. He cuts promos into the camera. Wacky. Shinsuke Nakamura has adapted to “Sports Entertainment” and the so-called “WWE style” like he was always a part. But this is one of those where a phenomenal match will be its own reward. I don’t think they’re putting the title on Shinsuke on the first go around, much the same as anyone else. The re-match will probably be a stipulation match of some kind, so I expect Joe to take a shortcut and retain. Prediction: Samoa Joe

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